Plato on God as Nous

Written By Stephen Menn
Plato on God as Nous
  • Publsiher : Unknown
  • Release : 03 August 1995
  • ISBN :
  • Pages : 86 pages
  • Rating : /5 from reviews
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Download or read book entitled Plato on God as Nous by author: Stephen Menn which was release on 03 August 1995 and published by Unknown with total page 86 pages . This book available in PDF, EPUB and Kindle Format. This book is the first sustained modern investigation of Plato's theology. A central thesis of the book is that Plato had a theology--not just a mythology for the ideal city, not just the theory of forms or the theory of cosmic souls, but also, irreducible to any of these, an account of God as Nous (Reason), the source of rational order both to souls and the world of bodies. The understanding of God as Reason, and of the world as governed directly or indirectly by Reason, is worked out in the dialogues of Plato's last period, the Statesman, Philebus, Timaeus, and Laws. These dialogues offer a strategy for explaining the physical world that goes beyond anything in the middle dialogues, and gives the best starting point for understanding the cosmologies and theologies of Aristotle, the Stoics, and later ancient thinkers. Menn focuses on the Timaeus as Plato's most sustained effort to provide what (according to the Phaedo) Anaxagoras had failed to deliver: an explanation of the world through Reason, showing that things are as they are because it is best, or because it best serves the order of the world as a whole. Anaxagoras was disappointed because he explained things through their material constituents, without explaining why the constituents are ordered as they are; but the theory of forms has the same defect, since itcannot explain why different parts of the universe participate in different forms according to a particular order. The Timaeus and other late dialogues attempt to supply the missing explanation of the ordering of the physical world. These dialogues do not retreat from the middle dialogue theory of forms, nor do they escape into an esoteric theory of numbers; but they add to the middle dialogues an analysis of the principles necessary to account for the existence and partial intelligibility of the sensible world--not only forms and a material substance but also Nous and souls. Although the demiurge of the Timaeus (and his counterpart the Nous of Philebus) is represented as a cause both to souls and bodies, most scholars have been reluctant to identify the demiurge as a being separate from and superior to souls, because they think that both the meaning of the Greek word nous and Plato's own statements require that Nous iseither a kind of soul (mind or rational soul) or something inseparable from souls (rational mental activity). Reexamining the linguistic evidence and the Platonic texts, Menn argues that nous can mean something separate from souls, namely the virtue of rationality or intelligence that souls participate in. Menn argues that Anaxagoras' Nous should be construed as such a virtue; then he examines what status this virtue has in the context of the Platonic theory of forms, and how itis a cause both to souls and to bodies. Soul plays a crucial role in mediating the causality of Nous and introducing rational order into the world of bodies, but neither soul in general nor the world-soul in particular can be identified with Nous. Menn stresses the pre-Socratic context for the cosmology and theology of Plato's late dialogues; he argues for the importance of Diogenes of Appolonia in particular, and he reconstructs a possible new fragment of Diogenes from the Timaeus and from the Hippocratic treatise On Breaths. In the Timaeus and other late dialogues Plato attempts to do better than his predecessors by standards implicit in Socrates' critique of Anaxagoras in the Phaedo, but what Plato offers remains consciously provisional. Aristotle argues that the Timaeus remains liable to some of the same criticisms that Socrates had leveled against Anaxagoras, and Aristotle's own cosmology and theology take up Plato's challenge to carry out Anaxagoras' promise of an explanation of the world through Nous, and attempt to improve on the Timaeus asPlato had improved on Anaxagoras. In this way the Timaeus serves as an essential starting point, not onlyfor those later ancient philosophers who took it as an authoritative statement on the world and on God but also for those who took it as a challenge to do better.

Plato on God as Nous

Plato on God as Nous
  • Author : Stephen Menn,Stephen Philip Menn
  • Publisher : Unknown
  • Release Date : 1995
  • Total pages : 86
  • ISBN :
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Summary : This book is the first sustained modern investigation of Plato's theology. A central thesis of the book is that Plato had a theology--not just a mythology for the ideal city, not just the theory of forms or the theory of cosmic souls, but also, irreducible to any of these, an ...

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  • Publisher : Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
  • Release Date : 2013-08-28
  • Total pages : 146
  • ISBN :
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Summary : This book presents a comprehensive study into Plato's theological doctrines, offering an important re-valuation of the status of Plato's gods and the relation between metaphysics and theology according to Plato. Starting from an examination of Plato's views of religion and the relation between religion and morality, Gerd Van Riel investigates ...

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  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Release Date : 2002-01-28
  • Total pages : 415
  • ISBN :
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Summary : This book is the first systematic study of Descartes' relation to Augustine. It offers a complete re-evaluation of Descartes' philosophy, and of the philosophical ideas in Augustine that were Descartes' starting point. Descartes and Augustine will engage the attention of historians of medieval, neo-Platonic, and early modern philosophy. That Descartes ...

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  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Release Date : 2019-12-26
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  • ISBN :
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  • Publisher : Parmenides Pub
  • Release Date : 2005
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  • ISBN :
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  • Release Date : 2021-03-09
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  • ISBN :
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Summary : Does God exist? In one incisive volume, philosopher W. David Beck offers a narrative of pre-Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, and Islamic arguments for God's existence. In this history of answers to an essential question, readers will encounter both classical and contemporary arguments, including cosmological, teleological, moral, and ontological arguments....

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  • Publisher : Oxford University Press, USA
  • Release Date : 2019
  • Total pages : 752
  • ISBN :
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Summary : Plato is the best known, and continues to be the most widely studied, of all the ancient Greek philosophers. The updated and original essays in the second edition of the Oxford Handbook of Plato provide in-depth discussions of a variety of topics and dialogues, all serving several functions at once: ...

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  • Publisher : OUP Oxford
  • Release Date : 2008-02-07
  • Total pages : 248
  • ISBN :
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Summary : The Laws is Plato's last and longest dialogue. Although it has been neglected (compared to such works as the Republic and Symposium), it is beginning to receive a great deal of scholarly attention. Book 10 of the Laws contains Plato's fullest defence of the existence of the gods, and his last ...

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  • Publisher : Springer
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Summary : This volume examines mystical experiences as portrayed in various ways by “authors” such as philosophers, mystics, psychoanalysts, writers, and peasant women. These “mystical authors” have, throughout the ages, attempted to convey the unsayable through writings, paintings, or oral stories. The immediate experience of God is the primary source and ultimate ...

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  • Publisher : Cambridge University Press
  • Release Date : 2017-09-21
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  • Publisher : Unknown
  • Release Date : 1956
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  • ISBN :
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Summary : Read online The Philosophy of the Church Fathers Faith Trinity Incarnation written by Harry Austryn Wolfson, published by which was released on 1956. Download full The Philosophy of the Church Fathers Faith Trinity Incarnation Books now! Available in PDF, ePub and Kindle....

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  • Publisher : Oxford University Press
  • Release Date : 2018-10-18
  • Total pages : 351
  • ISBN :
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Summary : Exploring Gregory of Nyssa: Philosophical, Theological, and Historical Studies brings together an interdisciplinary team of historians, classicists, philosophers, and theologians to offer a holistic exploration of the thought of Gregory of Nyssa. The volume considers Gregory's role in the main philosophical and religious controversies of his era, such as his ...

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  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Release Date : 2016-03-02
  • Total pages : 228
  • ISBN :
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Summary : In this bold new study, Andrew J. Mason seeks both to shed light on the key issue of flux in Plato’s work, and to show that there is also in Plato a notion of flow that needs to be distinguished from flux. Mason brings out the importance of this ...

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  • Author : de Vogel
  • Publisher : BRILL
  • Release Date : 2018-07-17
  • Total pages : 212
  • ISBN :
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Summary : Read online Rethinking Plato and Platonism written by de Vogel, published by BRILL which was released on 2018-07-17. Download full Rethinking Plato and Platonism Books now! Available in PDF, ePub and Kindle....

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  • Publisher : BRILL
  • Release Date : 1986
  • Total pages : 253
  • ISBN :
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Summary : Read online Rethinking Plato and Platonism written by Cornelia Johanna de Vogel,Cornelia Johanna Vogel, published by BRILL which was released on 1986. Download full Rethinking Plato and Platonism Books now! Available in PDF, ePub and Kindle....